Thursday, March 31, 2005

a bit of double vision

My left eye is still doing marvelously. But my right eye this week has a bit of double vision. I can see my world around me, but then I see little "echoes" of the images just underneath the "real" image. I'm hoping this will clear up on its own and I won't have to have another debridement. I'll be sure to bring it up at my next appointment.

I can't believe that it's been over a week since I last wrote... it doesn't feel like that long.... hope this blog thing isn't eating my entries. ;)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

kitties accidently had a self-training day

I have to leave every morning to go to work before Tim does, but then he gets home after I do. So I get home this afternoon from work and find that Tim has left the litter arrangement (the mixing bowl/sitz bath combo) out of the toilet. (We have to take it out when we need to use the toilet since there is only one toilet in our apartment). Sometimes when it's on the floor the kitties will try to walk in it, but since it is top-heavy they spill it. There wasn't very much spill which means they probably only tried briefly to walk in it and instead gave up. I found something else in the bathroom too... in the toilet was a yellow tint. Since Tim and I ALWAYS flush after using it, I just knew it had to be one or both of the kitties. :) I was excited, but I went ahead and put their "rig" back into the toilet for now. The kitties used the potty. Woohoo. :) And they didn't appear to fall in, either, because there wasn't a big area of water where they had splashed around trying to get out or anything. So exciting. :)

litter hole about the size of a potato

Just a quick update before I leave for work. Last Thursday I finally cut the litter hole in the sitz bath a little larger. But immediately before that it seemed like there was no hole at all, because in the mixing bowl there was a TON of litter that had been spilled and scraped into it, so that covered up all the space between the bottom of the sitz bath and the bottom of the mixing bowl. So anyway on Thursday I cleaned all that out and made the hole about the size of a small potato now. I haven't had any poop on the toilet seat all week which probably means that both kitties are putting at least their front paws on the seat consistently. But I was watching one of the cats in action and she had her foot through the hole and was standing partly in the mixing bowl, partly in the sitz bath, and partly on the toilet seat. I was sad about this because I was hoping to delay putting water in the mixing bowl for another two cuts or so, until I had about half the sitz bath left, but after this Thursday's cut I'll have to go ahead and start the water in the mixing bowl. Oh well, just makes me closer to my goal I guess.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

gospel meetings and good preaching

Tim and I went to a gospel meeting at the church in Mustang this week. (A "gospel meeting" is where a visiting preacher comes in and brings us Bible lessons on Sunday and then also on Monday through Wednesday evenings... some of you out there may call something like this a "revival".) Anyway we got to hear Bruce Reeves from Conway Arkansas, and he preached some fine lessons on expediencies, apostasies, and baptism. He is the kind of speaker you can listen to for a whole hour and only feel like you've been there for 10 minutes and want the sermon to continue.

At our congregation at 84th street we have found a replacement preacher for our one who passed away from cancer this past Thanksgiving. Harry Osborne will be coming to work with us towards the end of May. We are all excited to have him come. It has been a hard transistion but we are all ready to move on now.

My eyes are still doing OK. They are still fluctuating but hover pretty close to 20/25 or so. Only a week and a half until my next appointment. Then maybe I can stop the salty drops. I have a slight feeling of dread whenever I start to put them in, but the burn isn't as bad as I think it will be. Maybe I'm getting sensitized to the salt, I dunno.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

salty drops for my eyes now

I had another appointment on Thursday afternoon. They checked my eyes and they still looked OK, no ingrowth happening under the flaps like before. They went ahead and took out the bandaid contacts and had me keep using my antibiotic and steroid drop through Sunday (but my antibiotic won't last that long... I have maybe half a dose or one dose left), and they also told me to go get another type of drop from the pharmacy. It is an OTC drop and is salty... 5%. They want me to put this in my eyes four times a day until they see me again in 2 weeks. They said it would draw the moisture out from under the flaps and help them stick very closely to my eyes and help prevent those cells from growing under again. It feels like I am putting ocean water in my eyes when I use them. But it only burns for half a minute or so and then it is OK. Right now it feels like I have an eyelash in my left eye but my right eye feels completely normal. I won't give any more LASIK updates until after my next appointment. I am still seeing fine to work, read, drive, etc.

Monday, March 14, 2005

another lasik update (debridement and 20/20)

Well here I am, close to 3 weeks after my LASIK surgery. I had a procedure on Friday, a debridement (sounds like de-BREED-ment), to clean out some ingrown cells under my flap. Since it was a surgical procedure, I had to go through everything in the surgical suite again, from the bonnet and booties to the numbing drops to lying down under the laser. I won't bore you with the prepping details. They had me watch the blinking light again but no laser was used this time. The doctor lifted up my flap and cleaned it off, then irrigated it. I think my eyes might have wandered a little more on Friday than they did at my initial surgery, because I kept hearing over and over again "Keep watching the blinking light.... the light doesn't move; it's your eyes....." etc. But despite all that the procedure went OK. After replacing the flap, the doctor put in bandaid contacts immediately. Those are still in today and will be in for another few days. After the debridement, I noticed an immediate difference in the comfort of my eyes. Before they were just slightly irritated, like I'd had contacts in a bit too long or something, or a little bit of dust, etc. But after the debridement they felt so smooth when I blinked. It was weird. Before the procedure I was waiting for a spot to get 'prepped' and I was chatting with the people who gave out the post-op instructions. It was neat to do that since I'm sure it's not very common for someone to go back to the surgical suite so soon after their surgery.

I had another appointment today and they said everything looks fine. They are leaving the bandaid contacts in longer because of how I healed last time. The contacts will help prevent my eyes from having ingrown cells like they did last time. A piece of good news today... I am seeing a little better than 20/20!! I hope I am still seeing this well when they take out the contacts. Even though they are not perscription, they help me see slightly better because they hold a little more moisture on the eyes. But I am excited. :) I remember back to my first post-op appointment when I couldn't tell that there were even letters at all on the lower few lines of the eye chart. Now I am reading the letters. It is so amazing. I can hardly wait for Tim to get this done in a few years. :)

The cats are doing fine. Rainy has learned how to fetch. She has a few jingle bell balls that she can pick up with her mouth. If I throw one of those across the room, she goes tearing after it, messes with it for a second to get it into a good "picking up" position, then brings it back and drops it somewhat close to my feet. Then we repeat. And if I move into another room, she usually will find me and bring the toy with her. Tuxedo doesn't play fetch but he likes to watch TV. We were watching a movie the other night and he was sitting on the living room floor and sat perfectly still, staring at the TV for a good hour. We would call "kitty kitty" to him, and he would turn around and look at us, but only for a second and then his eyes and ears were right back on the TV. He didn't want to miss any of the movie I guess. :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

lasik update two weeks after surgery

Just a very quick update today. I had an appointment Monday. This was after having the bandaid contacts in all weekend. I noticed all weekend that I had trouble keeping my eyes open in bright light (like driving in the sun), even with my sunglasses on. So at my appointment on Monday they took my contacts out and asked how my eyes felt then. They felt a little worse without the contacts so they put them back in. They told me that some of my epithelial cells were trying to grow under my flap and they wanted to check me again on Wednesday and possibly have the surgeon look at them too, and possibly make an appointment to get those cells "cleaned out".

Tuesday and today my eyes felt a LOT better and weren't sensitive to light anymore. Whether it was because I re-started the steroid drops or had a new pair of contacts or what I don't know. But at my appointment today the optometrist said that the cells on the top of the flap near the bottom were healing up nicely, but the cells underneath were still there trying to grow. He caught the opthamologist in between surgeries and had him come take a look, and he concurred. He said to have me come in ASAP to get those cells cleared out, this week even if possible. They are going to lift my flap up slightly and "clean out" the cells. What that all will entail I don't know yet. So I made an appointment for Friday morning to get that done, and another followup on Saturday morning.

Sunday, March 6, 2005

cat bathing experience (not as bad as you'd think)

Our kittens are 8 months old now, and despite collars and spray and those little drops that you put on their neck, they still scratch and I still see fleas on them on occasion. So I decided to give them their first bath. I was going to do it this evening after church, when Tim would be home to help me (he is working this afternoon). But we got reminded this morning that there is "Teen Talk" tonight (an additional little Bible study geared towards college-age kids). So I impulsively decided to give them their bath this afternoon... alone. I figured that I would go slowly and be patient with them as they got used to being wet, then being shampooed, then being rinsed off.

Side note here. You know how adrenaline gives you that "fight or flight" feeling? Well our cats are very much "flight" animals. They sometimes fight with each other and roughouse, but usually they do their own thing. They are non-confrontational over all and want to remove themselves from a bad situation. Like when I took them (in turn) over to my aunt's house. She has a grown dachsund (spelling?) and a little puppy dachsund. I took the cats over when I visited her last and they did not want anything to do with that puppy or its mama. They would slink away and try to make themselves small and wanted nothing more than that crazy little bouncy thing with the floppy ears to leave them ALONE. The puppy, of course, just wanted to play and didn't understand why her new friend kept trying to leave and ignore her.

Back to today now. I got everything assembled first, and the cats were both very curious as what was going on. I had two buckets of warm water in the bathtub, a plastic cup, the little bottle of shampoo, and a towel. I decided to bathe Rainy first since she is a little more skittish than her brother. Her claws went out when I set her into the (dry) tub, but I had my hands on her and petted her and tried to help her calm down. As soon as I started pouring water on her though, she decided that this was a very bad situation indeed and kept looking for openings to try to escape. I found that if I kept my hand on the back of her neck she was less likely to try a flying leap out of the tub. I wanted to stop her escaping also so she wouldn't get hurt. I found out that wet cat feet are a little slick when she and her brother slipped in the tub a couple of times. The most rebelling she did was when it was all over and she was rinsed, and I wanted to towel dry her slightly. As bad as the bath situation was, she thought that being briefly confined in a towel was MUCH worse and so I didn't get a lot of drying done. She shook herself off and started to put her hairs back into place as I started in on her brother.

Now Tuxedo is generally a milder cat, but he is much larger and has much thicker fur than his sister. I started to put him in one of the buckets to help me get him wet, since when I just poured water over him it ran off his thick long hair. I got him in maybe as far as his back legs and he would go no further. I relented and put him back into the tub. I didn't want him to thrash around and get stuck underwater and drown. Whenever I would hold my hand on Rainy's back she would stay pretty still, but Tuxedo kept moving around, always looking for a way of escape. When he was rinsed off I towelled him while he was still in the tub, then let him escape to groom himself too.

They are both doing OK now and I think they'll forgive me for this indignity I made them suffer. I went to let them out of the bathroom a moment ago and the came right out like it was no big deal. Tuxedo was still ruffling his feet with every step, but Rainy purred when I scratched her still-wet neck. I am surprised they came out of the bathroom at all since I left the heat lamp on in there to keep it warm. They've never been soaking wet before and I thought they would be cold. But maybe they were just trying to get as far away from the bathtub as possible.

Before today they LOVED to go play in the bathtub and drag their little balls in there, etc. It will be interesting to see if they continue to play there or if the trauma was too much for them. :)

Saturday, March 5, 2005

first night driving since lasik surgery

Tim and I went to another Bible study about the home and marriage last night, and it started at 7:30. We left the apartment at about 7:00 and I decided to try night driving for the first time since my eye surgery 10 days ago. It wasn't too scary, but even so I let Tim drive on the way home so I could close my eyes and rest. Part of that was because we stayed very late singing hymns and I was a little sleepy. :)

Anywho back to the driving experience. You know how if you're driving at night and you squint your eyes, you can make the streetlights and headlights and things have lines coming out of them from the top and the bottom? Well my eyes sometimes would show me two lines coming out of lights... but they were both to the top, like antennas. And sometimes if I concentrated and focused, they would go away. For the most part they were there, though. Not really anything very distracting, it was kindof like seeing reflections in a wet road after a big rain.

I got some groceries today and when I bought some chips, I noticed that Pringles has come out with a variety of their chip that has trivia questions printed right onto the chip. They looked so neat so I had to get a can of them. The chips inside the can looked just like the example on the outside of the can - a very clearly printed question and upside down answer on each chip. What will the food industry think of next?

lasik update 8 days post surgery

I had my one-week followup appointment today. I noticed that from Saturday to yesterday my vision didn't feel like it improved very much, but then today there was a bigger jump in improvement. My right eye still is very blurry though. I went to my appointment and they checked my vision, and with both eyes together I'm seeing 20/25 so that is not too shabby, but it is all being carried by my left eye. The optometrist looked into my eyes and said that my right eye isn't healing as efficiently as it should, so he went ahead and gave me bandaid contacts. He put them in for me and I asked if I should take them out at night or leave them in, and he said to leave them in and that he didn't want me poking around in my eyes, that he would do the poking. They are going to see me again on Monday but he told me that even with the bandaids it would take a week or so for my right eye to get on its way healing.

But I'm just glad that I don't have to use the magnifyer on Windows at my work computer anymore. :)

Friday, March 4, 2005

no trip to alabama after all

The friends we were going to stay with in Alabama when we went over there next week are not going to be able to host us due to some family issues that they need to help with. So Tim and I aren't going to take our little road trip after all. It's probably a good thing, though, since I don't have any paid days off right now anyway. And the cats are still being toilet trained so now I can get back to the regular schedule on that. And there are some things to still be done around the apartment, etc.

We are going to go out to the Wichita Mountains on Saturday though. Friends of ours from church are going out there on Friday night and we are going to go out and spend a few hours there on Saturday, probably singing some hymns and doing a little sightseeing. I got VERY burned out on hiking from the last time we went, when we unknowingly went on a 4-hour round trip hike. But surprisingly I wasn't very sore the next day. Just very tired the evening of the murderous hike.